Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Florida County Goes South

Via TPM, Florida proves again that we’re no trendsetters.

Marion County, Fla. officials took down the Confederate flag that flies at the county government complex last week, temporarily replacing it with a flag bearing the county seal, News 13 reported. The County Commission unanimously approved a move to fly the flag again days later, saying members would meet with historians to discuss placing markers by the flag to “explain its historical significance.”

One Confederate flag supporter told the station: “We live in America, and the last time I checked it was a democracy. So, here in Marion County, which has, what, 300,000 people, how can one man decide to take it off a flagpole?”

And nothing says “democracy” more than flying the symbol of a racist and treasonous bunch of losers.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Monday, April 6, 2015

Florida Still In The 60’s…The 1860’s

Via Wonkette we learn that the Florida legislature is debating the repeal of a law passed in 1868 that is still on the books that makes it illegal for an unmarried couple to share living quarters.

“Currently, over a half-million couples in Florida are breaking this law. The government should not intrude into the private lives of consenting adults,” the South Florida Democrat, Eleanor Sobel, told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday. “The times have changed. … Only three states are left with this outdated statute—Florida, Michigan, and Mississippi.”

The bill still has to make it through the state senate.  I can’t wait to hear the arguments for keeping it in place.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Don’t Say It

Via the Tampa Bay Times:

DEP officials have been ordered not to use the terms “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports, according to former DEP employees, consultants, volunteers and records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,’ ” said Christopher Byrd, an attorney with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors.”

Kristina Trotta, a former DEP employee in Miami, said her supervisor told her not to use the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in a 2014 staff meeting.

“We were told that we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact,” she said.

This unwritten policy went into effect after Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011 and appointed Herschel Vinyard Jr. to lead the approximately 3,200-employee agency, with a budget of $1.4 billion, according to former DEP employees. Vinyard resigned in November. Neither he nor his successor, Scott Steverson, would comment for this report.

This is based in the scientifically proven true fact that if you don’t say the words, it won’t happen.  This is the same as if you close your eyes, no one can see you.

PS: It’s been so warm and dry in Alaska this winter that they had to move the Iditarod dogsled race further north.  But since they got nine feet of snow in Boston, global warming is a hoax.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Short Takes

Hezbollah launches attack against Israeli soldiers near the Lebanese border.

Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch had her first day of confirmation hearings in the Senate.

Jordan agreed to terms to trade a prisoner for a hostage held by ISIS.

The Fed cites solid job growth in the economy.

Eight lives left: a cat that was believed to be dead rises from the grave.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fan Base

Okay, this was weird.

The Florida gubernatorial debate got off to a rocky start Wednesday night when Gov. Rick Scott (R-FL) refused to come out because his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, asked for and received a fan under his podium.

The debate moderators at CBS Miami seemed shocked, wondering aloud what to do for several minutes until Scott finally consented to join Crist on stage. Scott apparently told the hosts that the debate rules banned fans from the stage.

Wow.  Just wow.

For those of you who live outside of Florida and may wonder WTF?, imagine living here where this kind of behavior from Gov. Scott has been going on for the last four years.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Neighbor Hood

Via TPM:

A Boca Raton, Fla. man caused controversy in his neighborhood when he flew a Klu Klux Klan flag in his yard alongside a noose and a sign recruiting new members, WPTV reported on Wednesday.

The man, who identified himself as K. Hayes, defended his right to free speech.

“They never said anything to my face and they’re entitled to their own free speech as well as I am,” he said about neighbors’ complaints.

The Constitution guarantees the right of every American to be an asshole.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

One Way To Get Noticed

From Miami New Times, a local Miami artist makes his objections known to not being known.

Yesterday, art lovers around the world were shocked when someone strolled into the Pérez Art Museum Miami and destroyed a $1 million vase by Ai Weiwei.

Well, the story gets even more shocking. That’s because the vandal wasn’t a political objector or a random crazy person. He was a fellow artist.

The vandal is actually Maximo Caminero, a well-known local painter who has shown works at the Fountain Art Fair. He tells New Times that he destroyed the vase to make a point.

“I did it for all the local artists in Miami that have never been shown in museums here,” he says. “They have spent so many millions now on international artists. It’s the same political situation over and over again. I’ve been here for 30 years and it’s always the same.”

According to a police report, a PAMM security guard saw Caminero pick up the vase yesterday afternoon. When she told him to put down the piece of art, he “threw and broke the vase on the floor in protest.”

Caminero then “spontaneously told [police] that he broke the vase in protest of local artists and that the museum only displayed international artists,” according to the report.

His chances of getting a one-man show at PAMM are officially shot to hell.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Short Takes

The government slowly gets back to work.

Big bucks — The shutdown was not cheap.

U.S. mulls options in easing sanctions on Iran.

Jeh C. Johnson is likely the next head of Homeland Security.

Prisoners escape Florida pen with fake documents.

Typhoon Francisco soaks Guam.

The Tigers lost 4-3, head back to Boston behind 3-2 in the ALCS.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Short Takes

Death toll in weekend tornadoes included three storm chasers.

Egyptian court strikes a blow against Morsi.

Sen. Schumer says immigration bill will pass by July 4.

Bradley Manning goes on trial this week.

Mookie Blaylock faces charges in fatal crash.

Loose llama in Florida captured by taser.

The Tigers lost to the O’s 4-2.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Short Takes

Factory fire kills over 100 in Bangladesh.

Egypt’s top judges don’t like President Morsi’s “unprecedented” decrees.

Homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy were robbed over Thanksgiving.

Cops arrest 42 people in a melee after a party in San Jose.

Florida woman arrested for riding a manatee.

“My kingdom for a DNA scan” — Scientists may have found the remains of King Richard III.

 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Reading

Is It Possible? — Michael Tomasky on the numbers that point to an Obama win.

There’s a secret lurking behind everything you’re reading about the upcoming election, a secret that all political insiders know—or should—but few are talking about, most likely because it takes the drama out of the whole business. The secret is the electoral college, and the fact is that the more you look at it, the more you come to conclude that Mitt Romney has to draw an inside straight like you’ve never ever seen in a movie to win this thing. This is especially true now that it seems as if Pennsylvania isn’t really up for grabs. Romney’s paths to 270 are few.

First, let’s discuss Pennsylvania. There has been good reason for Democrats to sweat this state. True, Obama won it handily in 2008, by 10 points. But it’s a state that is older and whiter and more working-class than most of America. Obama benefited from all the unique circumstances of 2008 that helped him across the country, but if ever there were a state where the “well, we gave the black guy a chance and he blew it” meme might catch on, it’s the Keystone State.

But the jobless rate there is 7.5 percent, well below the national average. Democratic voter registration has held its own. The Philly suburbs have grown. And this odious voter ID law is facing meaningful challenges. A hearing on the law’s validity has just been concluded. A state judge says he’ll rule on the law’s constitutionality the week of Aug. 13. It sounds as if the law’s opponents made a stronger case at the hearing than its supporters. In any case, the losing side will appeal to the state Supreme Court.

But whatever happens with that law, Pennsylvania has been trending back toward Obama lately. He now holds a lead there of nearly seven points, and he’s close to 50. And as I wrote the other day, Nate Silver now gives Barack Obama a slightly better chance of winning Montana than he does Romney of winning Pennsylvania. That tells you something.

Just remember though: In 1936 the Literary Digest, a reputable magazine of the time, predicted an Alf Landon landslide against FDR, and in 1948 everyone thought Dewey would beat Truman. This is August. We have a long, long way to go.

Carl Hiaasen — Rick, You’ve Got Mail.

An absolutely true news item: To erase the perception that it was censoring public records, the office of Gov. Rick Scott has announced it will no longer delete unflattering correspondence from the governor’s official email account.

Dear Rick,

We received your inquiry about a possible stage appearance with Gov. Romney during his upcoming campaign swing through Florida. Unfortunately, Mitt has a very tight schedule and it’s unlikely he’ll have time to be seen with you.

Perhaps after the election you can come visit him at the White House, or at least take the tour. Meanwhile, keep up your good work in the Sunshine State, and try not to get discouraged by those scary low poll numbers!

Warmest regards,

r.hogshaw@mittforprez.net

Dear Gov. Scott,

I’m a huge supporter of your plan to drug-test state workers and welfare recipients. Wouldn’t it be a neat idea to do the same thing to all the delegates at the Republican National convention this month in Tampa?

What a golden opportunity for the GOP to set a moral example for the whole country, while also showcasing your own unique priorities as governor.

I just happen to own a company that sells urine-sampling kits online for $24.95, but for you we’ll make it an even 20 bucks apiece. What do you say?

j.hosebright@peeforamerica.com

Dear Governor,

I was really upset to read that elections officials in Florida aren’t finding as many illegal voters as everybody expected, and by everybody I mean all red-blooded American patriots such as myself.

What kind of a lame purge are you running, anyway?

The fact that Obama won Florida in 2008 means there must be hundreds of thousands of illegals registered, maybe even some white ones. Just start with a list of whoever voted for that Muslim-loving, basketball-playing socialist, and work your way down.

Get on the stick, man! Time’s running out.

h.dipthong@paranoidsfordemocracy.org

Dear Rick,

I received your latest note asking about Gov. Romney’s appearance schedule while he’s in Florida. It’s very kind of you to offer to fly wherever he is, anytime, and it’s also helpful to know that your private jet needs only 3,200 feet of runway.

However, Gov. Romney’s itinerary remains undecided, and we won’t know anything definite until, oh, four minutes or so before he actually arrives.

It might be Bradenton, might be Sarasota, maybe even St. Pete. That’s our Mitt!

In any case I’m sure your paths will cross some day. Thanks again for not mentioning him in your recent media interviews.

Sincerely,

r.hogshaw@mittforprez.net

The Top Fifty — Richard Brody on why “Vertigo” is the top film on the BFI list.

If Howard Hawks mistakenly opened a door and found a youngish actress there, freshly showered and in a state of unkempt undress, he’d go in and close the door behind him with his hopes high. If Alfred Hitchcock entered the same room with the same occupant in the same state, he’d want to see her coiffed and dressed and made up before knowing what he wanted. That’s why no Hawks movie is to be found on the Sight & Sound top-fifty list, and why “Vertigo” came in at number one. It dramatizes the process by which Hollywood transforms a charismatic person into a beauty: the cosmetic arts, which Hitchcock saw as central to the art of the cinema. For Hitchcock, undress signifies an unhealthy preoccupation with sexual gratification rather than with the object of desire—and desire begins with perfection. He has a sufficient loathing of the human condition to yearn for its drastic improvement before he finds it appealing, and—as singularly expressive and psychologically resonant as his images are—he is perhaps the poster director for cinematic elaboration, for the virtue and power of artifice. (The relevant quote, which I’ve seen in a variety of phrasings, is his assertion that his films aren’t “slices of life” but “slices of cake.”)

With apologies to Claude Lévi-Strauss, the movies on the top fifty are, for the most part, cooked, not raw. Even the top documentary on the list—Dziga Vertov’s “Man with a Movie Camera,” at number nine—is highly inflected and cinematographically elaborate; there’s nothing by Frederick Wiseman or the Maysles brothers or Robert Flaherty. The prominence of films by of Stanley Kubrick (“2001” at number six), Francis Ford Coppola and Andrei Tarkovsky (three each), and Akira Kurosawa (two); the relative absence of Italian neo-realism (“Bicycle Thieves” at thirty-three, “Voyage to Italy”—if that counts—at forty-one); and, in general, the lack of movies where the strings seem looser (e.g. John Cassavetes, Elaine May) indicates that directorial control freaks have a higher standing among the voters than those whose movies reflect heads-up curiosity, spontaneity, and responsiveness to unexpected discovery.

Doonesbury — Nightmare scenario.

Sunday Reading

Is It Possible? — Michael Tomasky on the numbers that point to an Obama win.

There’s a secret lurking behind everything you’re reading about the upcoming election, a secret that all political insiders know—or should—but few are talking about, most likely because it takes the drama out of the whole business. The secret is the electoral college, and the fact is that the more you look at it, the more you come to conclude that Mitt Romney has to draw an inside straight like you’ve never ever seen in a movie to win this thing. This is especially true now that it seems as if Pennsylvania isn’t really up for grabs. Romney’s paths to 270 are few.

First, let’s discuss Pennsylvania. There has been good reason for Democrats to sweat this state. True, Obama won it handily in 2008, by 10 points. But it’s a state that is older and whiter and more working-class than most of America. Obama benefited from all the unique circumstances of 2008 that helped him across the country, but if ever there were a state where the “well, we gave the black guy a chance and he blew it” meme might catch on, it’s the Keystone State.

But the jobless rate there is 7.5 percent, well below the national average. Democratic voter registration has held its own. The Philly suburbs have grown. And this odious voter ID law is facing meaningful challenges. A hearing on the law’s validity has just been concluded. A state judge says he’ll rule on the law’s constitutionality the week of Aug. 13. It sounds as if the law’s opponents made a stronger case at the hearing than its supporters. In any case, the losing side will appeal to the state Supreme Court.

But whatever happens with that law, Pennsylvania has been trending back toward Obama lately. He now holds a lead there of nearly seven points, and he’s close to 50. And as I wrote the other day, Nate Silver now gives Barack Obama a slightly better chance of winning Montana than he does Romney of winning Pennsylvania. That tells you something.

Just remember though: In 1936 the Literary Digest, a reputable magazine of the time, predicted an Alf Landon landslide against FDR, and in 1948 everyone thought Dewey would beat Truman. This is August. We have a long, long way to go.

Carl Hiaasen — Rick, You’ve Got Mail.

An absolutely true news item: To erase the perception that it was censoring public records, the office of Gov. Rick Scott has announced it will no longer delete unflattering correspondence from the governor’s official email account.

Dear Rick,

We received your inquiry about a possible stage appearance with Gov. Romney during his upcoming campaign swing through Florida. Unfortunately, Mitt has a very tight schedule and it’s unlikely he’ll have time to be seen with you.

Perhaps after the election you can come visit him at the White House, or at least take the tour. Meanwhile, keep up your good work in the Sunshine State, and try not to get discouraged by those scary low poll numbers!

Warmest regards,

r.hogshaw@mittforprez.net

Dear Gov. Scott,

I’m a huge supporter of your plan to drug-test state workers and welfare recipients. Wouldn’t it be a neat idea to do the same thing to all the delegates at the Republican National convention this month in Tampa?

What a golden opportunity for the GOP to set a moral example for the whole country, while also showcasing your own unique priorities as governor.

I just happen to own a company that sells urine-sampling kits online for $24.95, but for you we’ll make it an even 20 bucks apiece. What do you say?

j.hosebright@peeforamerica.com

Dear Governor,

I was really upset to read that elections officials in Florida aren’t finding as many illegal voters as everybody expected, and by everybody I mean all red-blooded American patriots such as myself.

What kind of a lame purge are you running, anyway?

The fact that Obama won Florida in 2008 means there must be hundreds of thousands of illegals registered, maybe even some white ones. Just start with a list of whoever voted for that Muslim-loving, basketball-playing socialist, and work your way down.

Get on the stick, man! Time’s running out.

h.dipthong@paranoidsfordemocracy.org

Dear Rick,

I received your latest note asking about Gov. Romney’s appearance schedule while he’s in Florida. It’s very kind of you to offer to fly wherever he is, anytime, and it’s also helpful to know that your private jet needs only 3,200 feet of runway.

However, Gov. Romney’s itinerary remains undecided, and we won’t know anything definite until, oh, four minutes or so before he actually arrives.

It might be Bradenton, might be Sarasota, maybe even St. Pete. That’s our Mitt!

In any case I’m sure your paths will cross some day. Thanks again for not mentioning him in your recent media interviews.

Sincerely,

r.hogshaw@mittforprez.net

The Top Fifty — Richard Brody on why “Vertigo” is the top film on the BFI list.

If Howard Hawks mistakenly opened a door and found a youngish actress there, freshly showered and in a state of unkempt undress, he’d go in and close the door behind him with his hopes high. If Alfred Hitchcock entered the same room with the same occupant in the same state, he’d want to see her coiffed and dressed and made up before knowing what he wanted. That’s why no Hawks movie is to be found on the Sight & Sound top-fifty list, and why “Vertigo” came in at number one. It dramatizes the process by which Hollywood transforms a charismatic person into a beauty: the cosmetic arts, which Hitchcock saw as central to the art of the cinema. For Hitchcock, undress signifies an unhealthy preoccupation with sexual gratification rather than with the object of desire—and desire begins with perfection. He has a sufficient loathing of the human condition to yearn for its drastic improvement before he finds it appealing, and—as singularly expressive and psychologically resonant as his images are—he is perhaps the poster director for cinematic elaboration, for the virtue and power of artifice. (The relevant quote, which I’ve seen in a variety of phrasings, is his assertion that his films aren’t “slices of life” but “slices of cake.”)

With apologies to Claude Lévi-Strauss, the movies on the top fifty are, for the most part, cooked, not raw. Even the top documentary on the list—Dziga Vertov’s “Man with a Movie Camera,” at number nine—is highly inflected and cinematographically elaborate; there’s nothing by Frederick Wiseman or the Maysles brothers or Robert Flaherty. The prominence of films by of Stanley Kubrick (“2001” at number six), Francis Ford Coppola and Andrei Tarkovsky (three each), and Akira Kurosawa (two); the relative absence of Italian neo-realism (“Bicycle Thieves” at thirty-three, “Voyage to Italy”—if that counts—at forty-one); and, in general, the lack of movies where the strings seem looser (e.g. John Cassavetes, Elaine May) indicates that directorial control freaks have a higher standing among the voters than those whose movies reflect heads-up curiosity, spontaneity, and responsiveness to unexpected discovery.

Doonesbury — Nightmare scenario.

Friday, July 13, 2012

She Said/She Said

Things are getting a little weird in Tallahassee.

As part of her defense in a criminal trial, a former aide to Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll said she caught the lieutenant governor in “a compromising position” with another aide shortly before being fired last year.

The allegations are part of the ongoing prosecution of Carletha Cole, a former aide to Carroll who shared a recording of a conversation with Carroll’s chief of staff with a reporter for the Florida Times-Union, a Jacksonville newspaper, after she was fired.

Cole has been charged with disclosing that recorded conversation.

Cole’s motion, filed in response to the state’s efforts to keep some records sealed, portrays a dysfunctional office where Carroll’s aides frequently recorded conversations and the lieutenant governor pushed for a website where fans could follow her. It also says Steve MacNamara, former chief of staff for Gov. Rick Scott, viewed Carroll as a “loose cannon,” in the words of the filing.

But its most sensational anecdote concerns Cole inadvertently walking in on what she believed to be a sexual encounter between Carroll and a female employee.

Ms. Carroll has been seen as a rising star in the Florida GOP. Knowing the way politics works in this state, this could be a help.

She Said/She Said

Things are getting a little weird in Tallahassee.

As part of her defense in a criminal trial, a former aide to Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll said she caught the lieutenant governor in “a compromising position” with another aide shortly before being fired last year.

The allegations are part of the ongoing prosecution of Carletha Cole, a former aide to Carroll who shared a recording of a conversation with Carroll’s chief of staff with a reporter for the Florida Times-Union, a Jacksonville newspaper, after she was fired.

Cole has been charged with disclosing that recorded conversation.

Cole’s motion, filed in response to the state’s efforts to keep some records sealed, portrays a dysfunctional office where Carroll’s aides frequently recorded conversations and the lieutenant governor pushed for a website where fans could follow her. It also says Steve MacNamara, former chief of staff for Gov. Rick Scott, viewed Carroll as a “loose cannon,” in the words of the filing.

But its most sensational anecdote concerns Cole inadvertently walking in on what she believed to be a sexual encounter between Carroll and a female employee.

Ms. Carroll has been seen as a rising star in the Florida GOP. Knowing the way politics works in this state, this could be a help.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Short Takes

Another high-level Syrian has defected.

Secretary of State Clinton visited Laos, the first high-ranking U.S. diplomat to do that since the end of the Vietnam war.

A federal judge has kept the injunction against the new Mississippi anti-abortion bill in place.

The president of Florida A&M has resigned in the wake of the hazing death scandal.

Need a job? London needs 3,500 more security guards for the Olympics.

Florida schools brace for the FCAT results.

Family matters — Weird things happen when rich people get divorced.

Short Takes

Another high-level Syrian has defected.

Secretary of State Clinton visited Laos, the first high-ranking U.S. diplomat to do that since the end of the Vietnam war.

A federal judge has kept the injunction against the new Mississippi anti-abortion bill in place.

The president of Florida A&M has resigned in the wake of the hazing death scandal.

Need a job? London needs 3,500 more security guards for the Olympics.

Florida schools brace for the FCAT results.

Family matters — Weird things happen when rich people get divorced.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Keep Digging

It never goes away, does it?

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Lawyers for President Barack Obama and Gov. Rick Scott’s administration asked a judge Monday to dismiss a ballot challenge that alleges Obama is not a “natural born citizen.”

Circuit Judge Terry Lewis did not immediately rule. He gave lawyers on both sides a week to submit proposed orders.

The lawsuit by Fort Lauderdale automobile salesman Michael Voeltz asks that Obama be removed from the state’s 2012 ballot.

Attorneys for the Democratic president and the Florida Department of State under the Republican governor argued that can’t be done because Obama hasn’t yet been nominated. Obama lawyer Mark Herron also told Lewis that federal law precludes state courts from determining the qualifications of presidential candidates.

Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, who is representing Voeltz, questioned Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate and contended that even if the president was born in the United States he still is not a natural citizen because his father was a foreign national.

Klayman later said U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who is considered as a potential vice presidential nominee, also wouldn’t qualify because his parents weren’t U.S. citizens when he was born.

Keep Digging

It never goes away, does it?

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Lawyers for President Barack Obama and Gov. Rick Scott’s administration asked a judge Monday to dismiss a ballot challenge that alleges Obama is not a “natural born citizen.”

Circuit Judge Terry Lewis did not immediately rule. He gave lawyers on both sides a week to submit proposed orders.

The lawsuit by Fort Lauderdale automobile salesman Michael Voeltz asks that Obama be removed from the state’s 2012 ballot.

Attorneys for the Democratic president and the Florida Department of State under the Republican governor argued that can’t be done because Obama hasn’t yet been nominated. Obama lawyer Mark Herron also told Lewis that federal law precludes state courts from determining the qualifications of presidential candidates.

Conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, who is representing Voeltz, questioned Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate and contended that even if the president was born in the United States he still is not a natural citizen because his father was a foreign national.

Klayman later said U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who is considered as a potential vice presidential nominee, also wouldn’t qualify because his parents weren’t U.S. citizens when he was born.